‘A big ocean for Hindus’ – Chinese defense veteran digs India as Beijing bullies India into quitting QUAD Alliance
China has the largest navy in the world. We can understand why. The maritime canals are its main trade routes. Additionally, it must challenge the superiority of the US Navy in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Beijing aims to use excessive power in IOR. PLA Navy strategists believe this will greatly reduce logistical difficulties thanks to the presence of an openly military installation in Djibouti and its proximity to numerous Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) ports.
Chinese naval strategy planners have invited academic experts to analyze the parameters of PLA Navy (PLAN) incursions into the Indian Ocean for multiple purposes.
Speaking at the King’s College seminar, Zhou Bo, Zhou Bo, a former PLA officer, Ministry of Defense official and senior researcher at the Center for International Security and Strategy at Tsinghua University, said that despite the Himalayan conflict which “cannot be resolved in the foreseeable future”, New Delhi should not view Beijing as a threat to its interests in the Indian Ocean.
The simple logic behind this distortion of facts is to scuttle the role of the Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean, especially in regards to India’s membership of the Quad.
Even when the Quad-4 was announced, Beijing provided unsolicited advice to India not to join the US-led alliance with the unspoken aim of harming the interests and the influence of China.
Regarding China’s perception of India’s ability to obstruct its program of sailing its ships into the IOR, Beijing has taken a bullying stance.
On the one hand, she advises India not to be part of the anti-China Quad-4 led by the United States, and on the other hand, Ye Hailin, vice president of the Institute of Asia – Pacific and Global Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), states that “China has never considered India as the main concern; whether it’s a partner or an opponent, it’s always at a secondary level.
The question is if China is treating India as “a secondary level naval force” in the IOR, why then is China issuing intimidating notices to India to steer clear of the Quad-4 alliance led by United States ?
Throwing his weight behind PLAN’s planned move to the IOR, Zhou Bo says Chinese naval activity in the Indian Ocean will increase in frequency.
Streamlining China’s planned activity, he explained: “To safeguard China’s growing interests in the Indian Ocean and maintain the security of strategic sea lanes, the Chinese Navy must maintain or even strengthen its presence in the Indian Ocean. .
Big ocean for Hindus
Zhou was aggressive and stated the PLAN’s intentions without ambiguous words. He said. “It is only a matter of time before a Chinese carrier battle group appears in the Indian Ocean. Whether New Delhi sees the Indian Ocean as the “great ocean for Hindus” or India as the “network security provider” for the Indian Ocean, friction and even violence between the two parties is likely.”
What does this senior researcher from the Center for International Security and Strategy at Tsinghua University mean by the term “Great Ocean for Hindus”?
India is not a theocratic state where the lands and oceans are to be allocated to religious entities. It is the reverberation of the imagination of Western colonialists. At one time, they had even worse imaginations of the Chinese people. Such epithets are self-defeating. Clever scholars argue but don’t hate.
Who doesn’t know that India has a dispute with China along the long Himalayan border? Beijing never fails to express its tradition of coveting territories on the other side of the McMahon line.
A few days after the PLA Navy celebrated ten years of its first aircraft carrier Liaoning, a Chinese security officer and military expert said India should be ready for the carrier battle group. ‘APL which would sail very soon in the Indian Ocean.
If China sees India as the least concern, then why does China want to bolster Pakistan’s navy with submarines and the biggest warship it recently delivered to Islamabad?
The Western Pacific and the Northern Indian Ocean (from the Middle East and East Africa to the Strait of Malacca) have been designated by PLAN as core areas of activity. The navigation of PLAN ships in the Indian Ocean is a shameless provocation.
Chinese ships carried out clandestine surveillance of the Bay of Bengal (BoB). China’s IOR plans also aim to explore underwater mineral wealth. China exploiting hidden minerals is a direct threat to India’s natural resources.
Zhuo’s assertion that India should not try to assume the role of “network security provider” in the region indicates that there could be a challenge to the status quo in the IOR, as well as India’s political goals in the region it considers its backyard.
A “network security provider” addresses its security issues by improving the mutual security of multiple countries. This is done by addressing common security issues, including the fight against transnational piracy, disaster response, etc. This is the classic definition of the term.
Here the Chinese commentator used it in a belittling sense that India is providing non-combatant support to Quad-4 member states. The criticisms and derogatory remarks reflect China’s exasperation after India launched the indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant and built another aircraft carrier, more than 75% of its size, to be delivered to the Indian Navy in a few years.
Beijing’s game plan to weaken India’s resolve to be part of the Quad-4 signals China’s failure to understand the broader imperatives of an alliance among the world’s four largest democracies.
India is with the Quad because India is committed to making democracy its political philosophy. Whenever and wherever India sees democracy being threatened, it is displeased and troubled.
The same goes for the smaller but democratic island nations of the IOR or the South China Sea. India and USA may have differences on some issues and nations have differences especially democracies.
But that does not mean that allowing minor differences should lead to parting ways. Many fundamental interests and parameters do not change with regime change.
As the world’s largest democracy and with a fifth of the world’s population, India cannot afford to stay out of the spotlight. Its role is much more important than we usually think.